Robert D. Ness, DVM

Robert D. Ness, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Robert Ness graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990 with a strong interest and determination in avian and exotic pet medicine. His first employment as a new graduate was as an associate veterinarian for the only all avian and exotic pet practice in the Chicago area at the time. He spent 9 of the next 12 years at that practice, with the other 3 years serving as head exotic veterinarian for a prominent group of veterinary practices, also in the Chicago area. During his tenure at these practices, Dr. Ness continued to expand his knowledge and training, but kept thinking that there was more to being an animal healer than just mainstream medicine. As frustrations grew over the limitations of standard conventional care for chronic diseases and common problems encountered in his patients, Dr. Ness began exploring the realm of holistic medicine and, as they say, the rest is history.

In June 2002, Dr. Ness started Ness Exotic Wellness Center as an alternative to the typical veterinary hospital. He continues to develop his wealth of knowledge by adding new and innovative treatments to his practice, becoming widely respected and regarded in the field of Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, especially in the field of Holistic Therapy. He is presently one of the very few practitioners in the country practicing Holistic Therapy for Avian and Exotic Pets.

  • AVMA :: American Veterinary Medical Association : www.avma.org
  • CVMA :: Chicago Veterinary Medical Association : www.chicagovma.org
  • AAV :: Association of Avian Veterinarians : www.aav.org
    • Local Lab (Chairman) : 1991
    • Lab Coordinator : 1992-1996
    • Board of Directors (Director) : 1996 • 2000
    • Public Relations & Client Education (Chairman) : 1997 • 2001
    • AAV Special Service Award : 1999
  • AEMV :: Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians : www.aemv.org
    • Membership Committee (Co-Chairman) : 2015 • present
  • ARAV :: Association of Reptile & Amphibian Veterinarians : www.arav.org
  • ASGV :: Association of Sugar Glider Veterinarians : www.asgv.org
  • AHVMA :: American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association : www.ahvma.org
  • AVCA :: American Veterinary Chiropractic Association : www.animalchiropractic.org
  • IVAS :: International Veterinary Acupuncture Society : www.ivas.org
  • AAVA :: American Association of Veterinary Acupuncture : www.aava.org
  • VMBA :: Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association : www.vbma.org

Dr. Ness has contributed chapters in various veterinary texts and articles in journals and professional magazines.

Journals & Professional Magazines

  • Veterinary Practice News = Class IV Laser Therapy in Avian & Exotic Pets (September 2015)

Journal of Small Exotic Animal Medicine

  • Vitamin C Deficiency in Guinea Pigs (Vol.1:1) 1991
  • Reptilian Drug Dosages Based on Pharmacokenetic Data  (Vol. 1:3) 1992

Exotic DVM

  • Chiropractic Care in Exotic Pets (Vol. 2:1) Feb. 2000
  • Alternative Therapy for The Anxious Pet (Vol. 3:6) Jan. 2002
  • Herbal Therapy for Liver Disease in Birds (Vol. 3:6) Jan. 2002

JAMS (Journal of Avian Medicine  & Surgery)

  • Serologic Diagnosis of Sarocystosis in Psittacine Birds (Vol. 19:3) 2006

Veterinary Texts

Color Atlas of Exotic Small Mammal Medicine 1996 (Manson Publishing)

  • Contributing author of various rodent questions and answers

Veterinary Clinics of North America, Exotics Series Sept. 1999
(WB Saunders)

  • Clinical Pathology of Small Exotic Mammals – author
  • Exotic Animal FormularyExotic Animal Formulary, 3rd Edition 2005
    • Elsevire Publications
    • Rodents section – contributing editor
  • Clinical Avian MedicineClinical Avian Medicine (Vol. 1) 2006
    • Spix Publishing
    • Integrative Medicine (Chapter 10)
  • Ferret, Rabbits & Rodents  2006 Clinical Medicine & Surgery, 2nd Edition
    • WB Saunders
    • Sugar Gliders – coauthor

Color Atlas of Exotic Small Mammal Medicine 1996 (Manson Publishing)

  • Contributing author of various rodent questions and answers

Veterinary Clinics of North America, Exotics Series (Vol 2:3) 1999
(WB Saunders)

  • Clinical Pathology of Small Exotic Mammals

Ferret, Rabbits & Rodents: Clinical Medicine & Surgery, 2nd Edition 2004
(WB Saunders)

  • Sugar Glider chapter – coauthor (Booth)

Exotic Animal Formulary, 3rd Edition 2005 (WB Saunders)

  • Rodents section – author

Clinical Avian Medicine (Volume 1) 2006 (Spix Publishing)

  • Integrative Medicine – author

Ferret, Rabbits & Rodents: Clinical Medicine & Surgery, 3rd Edition 2011(WB Saunders)

  • Sugar Glider chapter – coauthor (Johnson-Delaney)

Laser Therapy in Veterinary Medicine (anticipated publication) late in 2016 (Wiley Publications)

  • 3 chapters – co-author (Joerg Mayer)
  • Laser Therapy in Small Mammals
  • Laser Therapy in Avian Species
  • Laser Therapy in Reptilian Species

Dr. Ness has presented lectures at local, regional, and national meetings. He has spoken to a variety of organizations, ranging from bird and exotic pet clubs to national veterinary conferences.

Conference (NAVC) • 1996

  • Neoplasia in Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
  • Neoplasia in Small Rodents
  • Prairie Dog Tips
  • Sugar Gliders
  • Sugar Glider Nutrition

Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) • 1997

  • Introduction to Sugar Gliders

Michigan State Veterinary Conference • 1999

  • Chronic Disease in Rabbits
  • Dental Disease in Rabbits
  • Gastrointestinal Disease in Rabbits
  • Gastrointestinal Disease in the Ferret
  • Neoplasia in Ferrets
  • Preventative Health Care for Ferrets
  • Introduction to Atypical Mammalian Pets:
    • Sugar Glider, Hedgehog, Prairie Dog, and Chinchilla

Midwest Exotic Pet Seminar (MEPS) • 1999

  • Husbandry and Clinical Pathology of the Sugar Glider and Hedgehog

Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) • 2000

  • Sugar Glider Medical Care & Husbandry

Midwest Exotic Pet Seminar (MEPS) • 2001

  • Complementary and Alternative Therapy for
    • Alternative Pets
  • Introduction to Atypical Mammalian Pets:
    • Sugar Glider, Hedgehog, Prairie Dog, and Chinchilla
  • Gastrointestinal Disease in Rabbits
  • Preventative Health Care for Ferrets
  • Handling and Diagnostic Techniques Lab

American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) • 2002

  • Chiropractic Care in Exotic Pet Medicine

AHVMA Annual Conference Oct. • 2005

  • Holistic Approach to Hepatic & Renal Disease in Pet Birds
  • Integrative Therapy for Ferret Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Rabbit and Rodent Urogenital Diseases
  • Chiropractic and Acupuncture Therapy for Rabbit Neurologic Disorders

American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) • Nov. 2010

  • Chiropractic Care of Pet Rabbits
  • Chiropractic Care in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine -Anatomic and Physiologic Considerations

Oxbow Exotic Companion Mammal Symposium • 2011

  • Holistic Support for GI Disease in rabbits & Rodents

Wisconsin Exotic, Zoologic & Avian Medicine (WEZAM) Exotics Conference • 2013

  • Sugar Glider Introduction & General Medicine
  • Alternative Medicine for Common Conditions in Pet Rabbit Medicine

TASC Midwest Bird Expo • May 2015

  • Laser Therapy in Pet Birds

American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) • July 2015

  • Laser Therapy in Birds

ExoticsCon (combined AAV, AEMV, ARAV conferences) • Aug 2015

  • Laser Therapy in Avian Species (AAV session)
  • Class IV Therapeutic Laser in Exotic Pets – roundtable (AEMV session)

American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) • Nov 2015

  • Chiropractic Indications in Common Diseases of Exotic Pets
  • Chiropractic Care in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine: Anatomic and Physiologic Considerations
  • Chiropractic Care of Pet Rabbits
  • Rabbit Chiropractic Laboratory

AIMLA – Raising Standard of Veterinary Care with Laser Therapy • Feb 2016

  • Photobiomodulation in Exotic Pet Practice

Avian Wellness Retreat – Phoenix Landing, Ashville, NC • April 2016

  • Integrative Therapies in Avian Medicine
  • Laser Therapy in Pet Birds

ExoticsCon (combined AAV, AEMV, ARAV conferences) • Aug 2016

  • Practical Application of Photobiomodulation in Exotic Pet Practice (combined)
  • Herbal & Natural Health Supplements in Avian Medicine (AAV session)
  • Rabbit Chiropractic Care – lecture (AEMV session)
  • Chiropractic Care for the Pet Rabbit Practitioner – roundtable (AEMV session)
  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy in Exotic Pets – roundtable (AEMV session)
  • Integrative Therapy in Gastrointestinal Disorders of Rabbits – roundtable (AEMV session)

American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) scheduled • Nov 2016

  • Chiropractic Care of Pet Rabbits (lecture)
  • Rabbit Chiropractic Laboratory
  • Chiropractic Care of Guinea Pigs (lecture)
  • Guinea Pig Chiropractic Laboratory

AIMLA – Raising Standard of Veterinary Care with Laser Therap • Feb 2017

  • Photobiomodulation & Digital Thermography in Exotic Pet Practice
  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy

Numerous lectures to local clubs and organizations • Past 18 years

  • Local Bird & Exotic Pet Clubs, Holistic Pet Stores
  • Local Humane Societies & Shelters

In the past few years, Dr. Ness has lectured in many local avian and exotic pet clubs and organizations, including the Northern Illinois Parrot Society (NIPS), the Greater Chicago Caged Bird Club (GCCBC), The Avicultural Society of Chicago (TASC), the Greater Chicago Ferret Association (GCFA). Lectures on various holstic pet care topics were also presented at the Natural Pet Market, Health Emporium and local humane societies.

Dr. Ness in the Press

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